Nicolas Philibert Retrospective

In The Land of The Deaf

Nicolas Philibert
Screening time  
01.03. / Utorak, 17:00 - 19:00 Dvorana 1  
Philibert’s wonderfully expressive, sympathetic and deeply humanist journey into the otherworldly, mundane and magical ‘land of the deaf’.

The film’s profound exploration of language and its abilities as a means of interpersonal communication asks us to rethink the primacy and nature of sound, the cinema, the spoken word and what passes for film grammar. Featuring many beautiful moments of observation and comprehension, Philibert’s subtle, elegant and luminously shot documentary is a work of true insight and collaboration that avoids the key pitfalls of ethnography.

Nicolas Philibert

Nicolas Philibert was born in 1951 in Nancy (France). After studying philosophy, he turned to film and became an assistant director, notably for René Allio, Alain Tanner and Claude Goretta. In 1978, with Gérard Mordillat, he co-directed his first documentary feature, His Master’s Voice (La voix de son maître) in which a dozen bosses of leading industrial groups talk about control, hierarchy and power, gradually sketching out the image of a future world ruled by the financial sector…From 1985 to 1987, Nicolas Philibert shot various mountaineering and sports adventure films for television (Christophe, Trilogy for One Man, Go For It, Lapébie!, Baquet’s Come Back) then started directing documentary features that would all obtain a theatrical release: Louvre City (La ville Louvre, 1990), In the Land of the Deaf (Le pays des sourds, 1992), Animals (Un animal, des animaux, 1995), Every Little Thing (La Moindre des choses, 1996), at the La Borde psychiatric clinic, as well as a film essay pitched between documentary and fiction, with the students of the school of the Strasbourg National Theatre: Who Knows? (Qui sait ?, 1998). In 2001, he directed To Be and to Have (Etre et avoir), about daily life in a «single class» school in a mountain village in the heart of the Massif Central (France). Screened as part of the Official Selection at the 2002 Cannes Festival, Prix Louis Delluc 2002, the film was a huge success in France and around forty other countries. In his recent film, Back to Normandy (Retour en Normandie, 2007), he returned to the settings of I, Pierre Rivère, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister and My Brother… by René Allio, the director who allowed him to take his first steps in film.

General sponsor

Le Pays des sourds

1992, 99', color, video

Directed by:
Nicolas Philibert

Screenplay by:
Nicolas Philibert

Frédéric Labourasse

Edited by:
Guy Lecorne

Serge Lalou

Produced by:
BBC, Canal+, Fondation de France, La Sept-cinéma, Les Films d’Ici, RAI Tre, Télévision Suisse Romande

Festivals & Awards:

Cannes Film Festival 1992 - Prix de la Fondation GAN pour le Cinéma Belfort Film Festival 1992 - Grand Prix

Festival dei Popoli 1992 - Grand Prix

Vancouver International Film Festival 1993 - Grand Prix

Valladolid International Film Festival 1993 - Special Jury Prize

Mumbai International Film Festival 1994 - Grand Prix

San Francisco International Film Festival 1994 - Golden Gate Award

Potsdam International Film Festival 1994 - Best Documentary

Communication Awards, USA, 1994 - Stephanie Beacham Award Peabody Award, USA, 1997